Sunday, 19 August 2012

A few fundamentals

The striking thing about this whole malarkey is the fact that after getting free from this illusion I was just amazed at the simplicity of it all. 

I remember the moment well. I was sat in a swivel chair in the corner of the lounge by the fan, it was a roasting hot day in Thailand just before Christmas, the 22nd  December 2553 (2010 - the Buddhists use the date of Buddha's enlightenment) to be precise. 
After a long day teaching English and a gym session I was sat there furiously scribbling in a notebook really trying to get the breakthrough moment and then it occurred to me to look honestly because I had simply been deceiving myself about looking in real life. 

I personally had to force the issue and bust through the resistance that the mind threw up but what struck me was just how plain and obvious it was that the self was an illusion after the three weeks of busting my nut and convincing myself that I actually existed for the whole time. I laughed. I simply laughed to myself when I saw it and I felt an overwhelming sense of joy that I had seen it.

My blog has always been geared towards helping people to try and understand some of the conceptual confusion that arises from 'no self' and to give instructions for looking. I vowed to try and explain how to look but it is something inexplicable. It is just honest looking. 
That is about as accurate as I can be, in the same way you can turn your awareness to a table and look at it, you simply need to look at your experience in the same way. The breakthrough moment is simply the perception that the self is a complex illusion, a projection of the mind that was simply believed as real. 

Once you see the reality of this then what follows is a sense of profound freedom from the core mechanism of human suffering.

Are we adopting new beliefs?

It is all very well that I say LOOK at real life, it all sounds easy to do on paper but the reality is somewhat different. You need only look at the people who got stuck half way on RT and some of those that have abandoned their threads on TS. 

The many more who never posted and those that falsely believed they had seen no self and got carried away by adopting a belief in the concept of no self, when the reality was they had been sucked in to another delusion, one which is worse than the delusion of self for the simple reason that this position becomes entrenched and fortified by the mind. They fall just short and then have their work cut out trying to go the extra distance. Of course, it garners the question why is this so?

Quite simply, the adoption of new beliefs is not what we are looking for here. That is the last thing one should endeavour to do in looking for the truth. If anything Truth Strike is the antithesis of the believer. What we are primarily concerned with is testing beliefs to see if there is any objective basis for them.

Are we looking for the truth?

I had someone tell me the other day that there is no such thing as the truth and whilst we can say there are certain truths such as a-priori mathematics, we have to admit that what constitutes our knowledge is not necessarily truth. 
For instance, there are things that cannot possibly exist, for example a square circle is not possible. 

It may seem true that water boils at 100 degrees centigrade but we are taking for granted the fact that the universe is real and water really exists - we may all be hooked in to the matrix for example and this world is a fantasy made of neuron stimulation. Philosophically speaking we have no way of being sure that we are not in the matrix so we can never prove for certain that this is not the case.

So, we can say that there is no such thing as truth and it is ultimately not knowable what the truth actually is. The scientific method is based on empirical refutation of our hypotheses and utilising the falsification principle. 
If you want to read more on falsification there is a good intro here, but to summarise briefly we will just say if something is falsifiable then it is empirically testable. From what we can test, we can derive certain things that are not true and this constitutes the basis of science.

So, for those who think there is no truth we can simply say:

We cannot find the truth, we can only expose that which is incoherent with reality.

If we take this as a starting axiom then, I am sure we can all agree that we hold false beliefs in varying degrees. We are not necessarily concerned with finding what the truth is, rather we are interested in discovering the beliefs and assumptions about the world that are are incoherent. 
Primarily that is the purpose of Truth Strike, to facilitate this kind of investigation. We want to expose false beliefs and discard them, the adoption of a belief in no self is the antithesis of what we are trying to achieve.

Why did you used to call it the lie?

Kill the lie!” (Healey 2010)

There was a reason why we used this term back in the day, we first knew 'no self' as simply 'the lie'. Why has this changed? Basically, the view at the time was that the core engine of human dysfunction rested on the single principle that there was a single belief in the self. 
Once this lie was exposed then this rendered the engine of human dysfunction inert. Whilst yes, it is true I think this is a misleading view in the sense that if you look at the global financial scandal it was one enormous lie, yet, it was manufactured and perpetrated by many subtle lies that snowballed in to a giant lie that was waiting to be exposed.

That is simply the best way of seeing the false self, more properly it should have been called 'the lies'.

This aspect was lost over time since it was an attempt to make the whole no self thing more palatable to newcomers. Nobody likes to be told they are a collection of lies but it seems this is not too far from the truth if we are purely objectively speaking. 
Of course, this makes no self seem rather less palatable but it is important that any fair enquirer realises that this is essentially what the false self is: a collection of fictitious assumptions that have no grounding in reality. 

The thoughts you are aware of exist but they all refer to a character - “you”. This character is a fiction invented by the mind “you” are simply a figment of the brains imagination, you do not exist in any shape or form. Mental phenomena and human beings exist but “you” do not. There is no you quite simply, life lives itself.

Why do you keep saying dishonesty?
Now, you probably hear a lot about dishonesty on the forum and we shall focus on this aspect now. When we say dishonesty we are not talking about a conniving dishonesty where the enquirer is deliberately out to cheat everyone, we are talking about deceiving oneself in subtle ways that are not apparently obvious to the enquirer without scrutiny. 
There is a clear and distinct pattern to the dishonesty that manifests itself and it is up to the enquirer to spot these patterns within their perception. 

When you are working with a liberator, the liberator is NOT trying to free you. Make no mistake that is not the role of a liberator for the simple reason that only you can look at your experience. We cannot physically or mentally free you, it is quite simply your freedom and you have to take responsibility for this.

The role of the liberator is simply to demonstrate your own dishonesty to you, so you can witness in real life the assumptions you have made with no basis. Essentially you are being guided to see your own dishonesty that is as simple as we can conceptualise it. 
This is not an exercise in logic and trying to conceptually get how you do not exist, you may as well repeat “Custard is really spaghetti” a thousand times instead of “There is no me” and by the end of this tedious process you will still not believe that custard is really spaghetti.

Repeat it a million more times and it will make no difference whatsoever.

Absolutely none.

This is simply a waste of your time and by us simply repeating “Is there a self?”, it gives it no truth value at all. You have to experientially dig deep and expose the lies that your reality has been based on. You have to see where your assumptions are based and flush them out to be scrutinised.

You are starting from a position of dishonesty in any enquiry. Everything that you construe about the world is as a result of the beliefs and assumptions you hold. 

Since everything is framed within a belief of 'I exist', any enquiries we undertake in our thought will produce the same result. 

To make a more simplistic analogy, imagine a computer running an algorithm to each data set input in to it. It does not matter how many times the information is processed it will output the result according to the algorithm that is programmed. 
Your job is to scrutinise the program with a fine tooth comb removing any of the anomalies that are false. Of course, this is a simplistic analogy of a rather complex set of neurological machinery but essentially, the way to discover these anomalies is by looking at the program and seeing if it holds true in real life. 

Many of these anomalies are not even beliefs that have been written unconsciously in to your mind, at times they are more like results of the program that have been assumed as a result of the processing that has taken place. 
The key thing to note here is that the program will feed out the same results and conclusions, it will deceive you every step of the way and try to cover its tracks, since the mind sees any threats to its beliefs as an attack on its survival and replication prospects.

 This is an idea to be covered in another post but what you have to do is test every line of this program and dig in to the assumptions it has thrown out. Reverting back to the results of the algorithm is simply dishonesty, because you have not scrutinised every line of the code to check if it is cogent with reality.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Your country needs your ignorance

Of course we were not around in those days when we are asked to lay something on the line to defend our freedoms. It was a long time since we had anything to lose, perhaps the only time that as Englishmen we stood to lose anything was back in 1941 when we really had something to lose – our freedom. Those were the days of the blitz and the impending Nazi invasion that never came. I had always wondered what it was like to fight in world war II it was always a bit of a curiosity for me. 

Whenever I felt a little bit of fear I would always think back to what my granddad's life was like. When I was shoving drugs down my neck and dancing at illegal raves at the age of 22 in forests, barns, abandoned warehouses and the like, my granddad was probably sat in an underground bunker receiving his orders for the next bombing sortie. 

My granddad flew in the RAF over the Polestei oilfields of Romania - the most heavily defended airspace in the whole of Europe during WWII. It was the logistical engine of the Nazi war machine churning out virtually all of the oil that they needed for the war effort. As a result the average number of bombing sorties was four before you were shot down. If my granddad was alive today I would have asked him just one thing. How did you feel when you climbed in to that Wellington bomber knowing that the law of averages told you that you would likely lose your life? On your 12th bombing run how did you feel when you stepped in to the plane knowing the law of averages told you that you would die? How did it actually feel, what was the experience like granddad?

I cannot comprehend what he did because I do not know what it is like to put my life on the line. I have nothing but admiration for what he did, the people he defended, the lives he saved, and the free world he played his part in saving. The fact that he climbed in to the plane knowing that he could die, his bravery leaves me in awe. He probably got back from a bombing run feeling relieved he had made it and then went to the operations room to look at which incoming planes made it home, hoping in the back of his mind that his comrades would return, waiting anxiously, sometimes knowing that after a while he would never see his friends again because they had perished fighting the evil of the fascists, and had laid down their lives so we could enjoy the freedoms we enjoy today. I salute you granddad you really are a hero in my eyes.

To put it in perspective my granddad was just one man. One of many who fought against the twisted evil of the Nazi war machine, so in that respect he is not unique, chances are every one of you is somehow related to someone who put their life on the line so we can enjoy these freedoms we take for granted everyday.

That was then though and this is now, back then some sacrifice from everyone was required as we were at war at the time, it was right that everyone stood up and did their part. Now we are left with the legacy, the absolute paragon of human civilisation through the ages. We live in a free global market economy that, barring certain dictatorships, has the most personal freedom that has ever been known, the greatest amount of prosperity at any time in history, and the greatest democracy that this money can buy us.

Stop for a minute and soak it up. Do you actually think about how bad it could of been, or perhaps how great, and what a wonderful place the world is right now? How we have no problems whatsoever and everything is perfect and right with the world as it is? Do you ever stop and think about this? Stop for a minute and reflect on what you really have. What do you have to show for the fruits of your life? Lets face it, without friends and family we would have nothing of value.

The best things in life are free.

But why is it that we can say this to ourselves like a mantra and it does not really seem to do much apart from divert our attention away from the fact that we are all struggling somehow? Why is that we are never completely content and why is it that there is something we can never quite put our finger on, that bugs us? It need not be all the time or it may even be a preoccupation for you, but all through your life there was something just that slight discontent, that little nagging doubt that you cannot quite put your finger on. Lets just outline it for you with an example. Perhaps you are about to get a new promotion and you get it and life is great. Then after the initial buzz you are left feeling some how a little hollow and empty. Not depressed or miserable, but slightly discontented like you did not feel as though you expected to feel. Like you expected a little more from this situation and now you are slightly dissatisfied again.

Appearances are a funny thing.

Appearances are what we seem to place most of our trust in but I am not talking about our visual capabilities as such, I am talking about the way we construe things, how we see them as in “I can see what he is saying” and “I can see how that would pose a problem”. There is a subset of appearances that we see everyday and this is built on top of a framework of concepts and assumptions. It is funny really, we can turn to look at the appearances of our lives but that is about as far we ever look.

We never scratch beneath the surface and on the level of appearances we are happy to ponder over superficial things, take moral postures on issues, criticise peoples actions, lay down our insights, or have a bit of banter and make light of things. However, something is always lost here and whilst we can be accused of taking life too seriously the truth of the matter is that we seem to be more engaged in this level of appearances rather than the actual substance that underpins these appearances. 

Style over substance every time.

The way you view everything is inside a predetermined conceptual framework, every facet of your life is within a framework of right and wrong, should do and should not do, have to , must nots and various other constraints which can take many different forms. There are social expectations imposed by your friends, there are different social constraints imposed by your family, your grandparents etc... Your work place behaviour is different again, you probably feel that you hold back at work and some of you may even feel like you live a double life as such.

From this we can already see that we, at least to some varying degrees, conform to other peoples expectations of us and in a sense there is a societal code that we are obeying. We restrict our behaviour in that respect and this is one of the things that is just below the surface of our lives that does not get a look unless it is bought to your attention. This is trivial though and you could find it in any sociology text book, this really is not a new level of insight in life, however, it does represent a glimpse of the white rabbit scurrying towards the hole. Only, you never dared to follow it you always turned a blind eye.

There are certain patterns at play in your life.

We all know someone who is struggling to get by and forgive me for being so forward, but I know that you are probably not particularly happy either. Lets have a look at your life, all we have to do is scratch beneath the surface and we can see how shallow it really is. So here goes, this is what you do with your life and it is pretty obvious to anyone looking in from the outside. You believe that by buying certain products or waiting for certain events to happen, whatever they maybe, they will make you somehow complete and happy.

This is a simple as we can boil it down this is pretty much the core pattern of your life.

You actually have the beliefs deep down that you actually need these things and your happiness depends on them. Deep down underneath it all, you are bouncing from one thing to the next expecting to find happiness but instead you are finding fleeting feelings of happiness. Then you become disgruntled and try to find the next big thing that is going to make you happy. 

Then you simply rinse and repeat.

You cannot win and the fact that you tell yourself I can't wait until X, or I'll be better when Y happens is self evident. If you are stuck in the same space you become unhappy, if you keep moving you are trying hard to find the next thing that will make you happy and when you get it - be it a new promotion, a relationship, a car, whatever your focus is on, you find that once you get it the buzz wears off and you are left yearning for more. You are trying to fill a gaping void with material goods and validation and you do not even know why.

If you can drop your jumped up pretentious little ego for a minute this is actually your life isn't it?

Even when you look back as a child you used to bug your parents for the latest toy and then a few weeks later you would be bored of it and cast it aside, once you were sucked in to the next advertising campaign for the next hot product. This pattern was started when you were younger and the tragic thing is you did not choose to do this you were simply manipulated in to it. Fast forward a few years and you probably think to yourself that you are above this mentality and likely some of you are even conscious of this but just stop for a minute.

Just stop and look at your life for a minute. 

I want you to be honest here not with me, but with yourself. Just look at your life right now and look at the goals you want to achieve. Try to visualise them and ask yourself will I be perfectly contented once I achieve these goals? If this is the case then what is stopping you from being contented right now? 

How do you expect to be contented then in the future if you cannot be contented right now? Do you think you can just flick a switch?

You are still going to be the same flawed person with more more trivial goods. You have the mind set of a consumer because even though you are above yearning for mummy to buy you the latest thing, you still have this goal orientated attitude to life. Even now you are following the same predictable pattern but you have just lied to yourself and replaced the toys with something more tangible. Really, you are just clinging to hope blindly aren't you?

You actually think everything is going to work out for you eventually don't you?

You actually believe that once things calm down you will just be able to chill out in a few years, be comfortable, life will be calm and relaxed, you will have more time to do those things you wanted to do and more time to spend with your family. You keep clinging to this blind bit of hope like a lifeboat instead of facing up to the reality you live in now, right at this moment. You do everything you can to avoid facing up to this reality right this second. It is never going to work out any differently for you, even if it does you will be the same flawed person you always have been.

I know what you really want, deep down, lurking inside that disturbing little mind of yours.

I know that what you really want is to have the admiration of your peers. Yes, you even fantasise about people standing in awe of you, you even fantasise about your boss congratulating you on your latest project, your friends telling you that your ace, I bet you even compare how many people turn up to your birthday party so people don't think your a loser don't you? Yes, I am talking to you. You are floating around in the endless cesspool of failure you call your life, which is lived in the service of what you revere as the absolute paragon of human accomplishment; vanity.

'Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity.' (Ecclesiastes)

In fact, you even give people the power to have this opinion of you and enslave you in to the social hierarchy. Yes, you care so much about what people think of you and your life is based around this game of vanity. Every time you get dressed you look in the mirror and wonder what people will think of you. You walk around the street looking at everyone else or averting their gaze wondering what they think of you. You spend all your life wondering how people perceive you, and trying to impress them, and this is pretty much the primary focus of your life. Oh what? You have other interests as well? Sure you do, but just try and notice how many times you think about other peoples opinion of you. If you actually tried to notice consciously, you would find that this represents one of the driving forces of your life. Why? Because you have been socially engineered this way.

What is it like at work for you?

How many people do you see with a smile on their face? How many people look glum on your way to work, those empty grey faces staring down the road, how many times do you curse the car in front of you just because they miss a two second gap in the traffic and it threatens that you will be a minute late for work. Yes, I am talking to you. Would you choose to do it if you had to? Would you choose your shitty £10 an hour job if you didn't have to? And what about those of you who earn good money and don't enjoy your job? What excuse do you tell yourself? Do you tell yourself that your family needs this money, do you set yourself little goals to work towards and think I'll be happy then, like it is something you can just decide to be at the flick of a switch? You actually do this don't you?

You see friend, the problem is that we have lost sight of what really matters. We actually believe money is the ends in which we have to work towards, when in actual fact it is merely the vehicle that we are supposed to work with. You have not thought long or hard about this have you? Either you are enslaved wishing you had more money or you are enslaved to the thought of having more money for its own sake. You get more and you just spend more, you are never any better off you are just treading water doing the same thing following the same pattern you have been programmed to follow.

The thing is, if you take a step back out of it for a moment you actually think this is a hard earned freedom the really ironic thing is that you actually believe this is a fundamental freedom that you have been afforded. I cannot begin to tell you how naïve and brainwashed you are. You think that if you pay out some money for the latest product then everything will be better, you even turn a blind eye when it is pretty obvious that the world is not going to be able to sustain this level of consumption for too much longer. No, you would rather spend your life working a job you hate to buy things you do not need, to fight each other over scrambling up a ladder that leads to a mountain of bull shit with a bunch of feckless morons who you secretly despise, and all for a boss who you wish you could tell him to shove his job right up his arse.

This, incredibly, is the very thing that you hold as a sacred freedom and as something of value.

This vacuous routine that you never once stopped to question whether it was a worthwhile pursuit, you just went along with it because you followed the rest of the sheep. John Keynes, the guy who you know as the Keynesian father of economics stated 'The market was made for human beings - not human beings to serve the market'. This is where you have failed to see what is happening but don't worry it is not your fault, we were all sold this lie. You see, we are blind to this unless we take a step back, the adherence to this system is indoctrinated in to you at school, many of you (although I believe a few of you will have done) have never even stopped to question this framework that structures our lives to a large degree.

So, I will ask you what happened when the Iraq war kicked off, where were you and what did you do about it? Did you go to work and ignore the protest, or did you jump on a moral grandstand and try to tell everyone about the lies the government told. I mean lets face it, the government clearly lied about weapons of mass destruction whichever way you look at it and then in order to justify their lie they focussed on the morality of freeing the Iraqi people from the evil tyrant Saddam Hussein. True, he was an evil man but the government does not have a track record for doing nice things. We need only look at the times when we have stood aside while genocides happen to see that humanitarian aims are superfluous next to the goals of the big oil companies. Lets look at who won in this war, the arms companies and the oil companies, all at the expense of you, yes you the British taxpayer.

What is striking is that you did nothing, you just shrugged your shoulders and carried on going to work. You did not even flinch when Tony Blair's grinning, conniving face appeared on your TV screen telling you one of the biggest lies to your face. You just went to work and wondered which new thing you were going to buy. Or failing that you cared about how people would think about you if you jumped on a moral grandstand and started talking about it.

Amazing that most of you just stood aside and allowed this to happen and you did not even bat an eye lid. You just shrugged your shoulders and pretended it was not happening. You lied to yourself and started to believe something else to divert your attention away from the fact that you had just been lied to and you swallowed it straight down without the slightest bit of resistance.

Or you just shrugged your shoulders even though you knew it was a lie.

What you did not realise is that this is not the only time you have been lied to. As a result of you turning a blind eye every time you have been shafted you have simply got in to a pattern of repeating this behaviour. It really does boil down to elementary psychological techniques, you are just being manipulated like a pawn. You will never achieve anything of value because it is all based on lies. This system forms the fundamental basis for your life and it is a vacuous, empty lie therefore, a life in servitude of this is worth nothing. I am not judging you, the point is you have spent your whole life looking at appearances when underneath it all underpinning it, is a toxic and foul bunch of lies that have never been challenged. These lies are the worm that is eating its way in to the very fabric of our society and the trouble is some of you even know this is happening.

You need to look at the substance of what your life is based on because appearances are deceptive. Look at that TOWIE program for all that is wrong with our society for instance. The tragic thing is people hold this up as a shining example of the absolute paragon of human accomplishment. A bunch of retarded fucks who would lose a battle of the wits with a cheese sandwich, yet people actually aspire to be like them and (god help us) even try to imitate them. I am not here to bag these people in particular but in many other areas of our society we have other lies such as religion, propaganda news broadcasts (admittedly not as bad as America), companies feeding us with sugar laden chemical crap, need I go on? Start to look at your life and you will see the lies you blissfully ignore or actively pedal to yourself everyday but it takes a shred of courage to face up to the truth.

'The opposite of the truth is not a lie the opposite of truth is cowardice' (Stepvhen)

How do we change it? We change it from within, we move to a new paradigm where capital and its influence is rendered inert. Money is not the problem and neither is capitalism. It is simply our greed and vanity that has been socially engineered in to us. We spend our lives working for a market that was originally supposed to distribute goods among us. The power of the market has simply become too great and we are subservient to the very mechanism that is supposed to work for us as human beings. That is where we went wrong. 

What we need is to be the change we wish to see in the world. Now this is a big ask but it is not impossible any more. How do we just change to a paradigm of no greed?

Instead of making our world a better place for all of its inhabitants, all your hard work currently goes to things like this

Maybe we will never get it perfect and there will be some disparities but when we see this kind of thing, it shows you that this is what we have really achieved. This is the sum total of all of our hard work, to support the lifestyles of leeches who have never contributed anything. That is exactly what you are achieving now, whilst blindly clinging on to the hope that everything will work out for you eventually. You have just been duped your whole life but the thing is it is all based on a single lie that underpins this society, which once challenged, means you can step out from the machine and live freely. We can create a world in which we are truly free and we can live without being in service of a lie.

You can walk away in denial but why change the habit of a lifetime? Once a failure, always a a failure and for the rest of your days you will live a life blind to possibility and carry on the self serving greed and hopeless vanity as you have always done. Is that the shallow endeavours of your life, did you ever want anything better for yourself and the human race?

If all you ever do is live in servitude of a lie how do you expect to achieve anything of value?

You are achieving nothing with your life but perpetuating the problems as they are currently. Maybe my harsh critique was unfair on you but the fact remains you live your life in service to a lie, that requires your active participation to maintain the façade. You are the problem truth be told, you let it happen willingly.

What can one person do? Well imagine if my granddad and all his comrades thought like you. We would be eating sourkraut and speaking German by now. I know he and his comrades would probably turn in their graves knowing what a legacy of putrid, dishonest weaklings who let themselves become enslaved by their vanity and greed thinking they were free.

'None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free' (Goethe)

If he knew that he was going to put his life on the line and endured all that hell just so you could live your vain life, I would not expect him to step within 10 miles of an airfield. Is there a shred of humanity left in you? More to the point, do you even fucking care?

The new paradigm is a life without self image:

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